‘The Bachelor’ Star Caelynn Miller-Keyes Opens Up About Being Raped in College
Caelynn Miller-Keyes shared a painful story from her past during a one-on-one date in Singapore with The Bachelor star Colton Underwood.
The pageant queen revealed that she was raped during her time at Virginia Commonwealth University four years ago. Speaking with People about the experience, she said, "my life was flipped upside down.
"And even though I've moved on, it is something I will struggle with forever," she added.
Miller-Keyes' sexual assault occurred when she was a sophomore at the university. A group of male acquaintances allegedly drugged her wine glass at a party, as well as two of her friends' drinks. She recalled the moment she realized what happened to her.
"I woke up the next morning and I was completely naked in my bed and I knew that something bad had happened," she said.
A friend who also attended the party, but had not been drugged, claimed one of the men had sex with Miller-Keyes while she was lying completely unconscious in bed. Prior to that, Miller-Keyes said, "another guy, I was passed out on a couch from the drugs, and...in front of his fraternity brothers...lifted up my dress, they watched and laughed and took photos and Snapchats. It was horrible."
"These situations happen when you're safe," she told People. "They don't necessarily happen when you're walking down a dark alley. It's when you're comfortable and when you let your guard down."
Since the assault, Miller-Keyes has made a point to advocated for other victims of sexual assault. It was her platform during the Miss U.S.A. pageant and is something she speaks about often.
After The Bachelor aired, Miller-Keyes shared a post about sexual assault on Instagram. She wrote, "Unfortunately, my story is a common one."
"Every 98 seconds, and American is sexually assaulted. Every 11 minutes, that victim is a child. Only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States," she wrote. "For anyone out there who has suffered from sexual abuse or is still suffering from sexual abuse, please please please know: You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be safe. You are not alone. You are believed. There is hope. There is help."